Tree Swallows

We’ve had a LOT of tiny insects in the air the last few days – cooler weather seems to encourage them to fly up from Lake Apopka (I think they are midges / “blind mosquitos”); today flocks of Tree Swallows have arrived, flying every direction and catching all the insects – Hooray!

I tried to capture some photos and video, but it’s really hard with the birds changing direction so often; here’s my best attempts:

 

 

Luzia by Cirque Du Soleil

Today we attended the traveling show Luzia, currently about half an hour from us in Orlando. We’ve seen MANY Cirque Du Soleil shows over the years (Mystere, O (many times!), Ka, Dralion, Corteo, La Nouba, Quidam, Varekai, Delirium, Love, and the not so good Michael Jackson Immortal) but this was our first time for Luzia – and it was another great show! Spectacular costumes and acrobatic performances, and amazing use of waterfall effects …

Also nice was that photos were allowed (no flash, no video) so we have great memories of the show too:

Animal Kingdom in the evening

Disney Animal Kingdom has tried to expand it’s “after dark” experience, with the opening of Pandora land, extending safari rides into the evening, and the Rivers of Light show – we attended recently.

With our safari ride an hour before sunset there were already many animals missing – no elephants, for example, making for a strange long ride past empty land! But we did see giraffe, lions, and others:

With the sun going down, we headed to the Rivers Of Light show which we’d never seen; the first 15 minutes was incredibly slow and dull with slow moving “flowers” drifting on the water – but it turned out that was some sort of boredom-inducing pre-show, and the main event was more interesting. Unfortunately many of the water projections didn’t work very well – this show still needs development, I think!

Leaving the park, we walked through Pandora land, a very cool and quite alien experience with the strange plants glowing in the darkness, and layers of alien animal sounds …

Tethered balloons

More than 10 years ago, we took a balloon ride over Florida, but tonight we watched from the ground while people took very short vertical rides at the Hamlin development, up to perhaps only 20ft! We got some good photos – especially the few times they flame-lit the whole balloon …

It was really busy there, with the cinema and Publix parking jammed full; we parked over the highway at Walmart and bravely crossed (at lights, with pedestrian crossing, luckily!)

 

Video, as well:

5,000 fun miles of X3 driving

Working from home (no commute) I don’t drive many miles, but I’ve still managed to reach 5,000 in less than a year of owning my X3 M40i – and those miles have been lots of fun; my car still amazes me when I ask it to accelerate on the highway and the speed jumps from 70 to … lots more … for overtaking 🙂

Driving home from Rainbow Springs State Park today, it looked like I’d reach 5,000 about when we got home – and indeed, the odometer “clicked” over as we pulled into the garage …